Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts
Press Release

Wilson Center Celebrates its First Published Book

A celebration of strange beasts, troublesome felines, and mysterious nocturnal gatherings at the Wilson Center marks the publishing of a new tale by Milwaukee-based artist Sue Lawton, The Fire Keepers.

By - Dec 4th, 2014 11:31 am

Brookfield, WI (December 4, 2014) – A celebration of strange beasts, troublesome felines, and mysterious nocturnal gatherings at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts (Wilson Center) marks the publishing of a new tale by Milwaukee-based artist Sue Lawton, The Fire Keepers.

Open to the public, The Fire Keepers Book Launch Party will be held on Friday, December 12, from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, in the Wilson Center Dawes Theater, located at 19805 W. Capitol Drive, Brookfield, Wisconsin (in Brookfield’s Mitchell Park). Tickets for this event are free, however, space is limited and reservations are required by December 10 at

Authored in her eight-month residency during the Wilson Center’s 2013-14 season, The Fire Keepers is the first book published by the Wilson Center. The story it shares of a young girl living in 19th century Brookfield and the fantastical creatures she encounters while on adventures with her feline friend is inspired by Brookfield’s landscape and Wilson Center performances, and its title stems from a beautiful focal point of the Wilson Center: artist Susan Falkman’s sculpted fireplace Streaming.

“Working alongside this inspiring and invigorating piece and seeing the many people who gather around it gave Sue the sense that creative passion, or ‘fire,’ brings true life and vitality to this community,” said Wilson Center Visual Arts Manager Robin Luther. “The gathering space brings everyone together for a common purpose: to keep the fire burning and the song going.”

The Book Launch Party will include a meet-and-greet and book signing by Lawton; complimentary appetizers, beer, wine, and soft drinks; and a performance by Milwaukee’s classically infused band The Vitrolum Republic. Copies of the book and prints of the illustrations will be on sale, and an exhibition of Lawton’s original paintings will be on display.

Sue Lawton

Sue Lawton

About Artist Sue Lawton

Sue (Goetz) Lawton was born and raised in the Milwaukee area and has been drawing for as long as she can remember. After receiving her BFA in 2002 from Cardinal Stritch University, she began working extensively with visual narrative. From discarded card catalogs to the opera to Wisconsin circus lore, she seeks to tell her own story through drawing and illustrations that exaggerate and imbue lavish romances and quirky twists of humor.

She was a Pfister Artist in Residence finalist in 2013 and completed a residency at the Cedarburg Cultural Center in January 2013. Her work has been exhibited at galleries throughout Wisconsin, including Gallery M, Tenth Street Gallery, James Steeno Gallery, Northwestern Mutual Life Gallery, and Art and Soul Gallery. She has also participated in gallery nights, including Hide House Gallery Night, Kunzelmann-Esser Gallery Night, and other public showings at the Boerner Botanical Gardens and the Bay View Arts Tour. In 2011, she self-published her first book, The Circus and the Cyclone, a historical fiction piece on the destruction of the town of New Richmond by a tornado in 1899, a day made even more devastating by the arrival of a traveling circus. Visit for more information.

About the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts

Now in its 13th season, the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary cultural arts center that presents performances by world-renowned artists and ensembles, offers myriad arts education opportunities, and curates an ever-changing art gallery featuring nationally renowned artists. The Wilson Center for the Arts is just minutes west of Milwaukee, nestled in Brookfield’s Mitchell Park, south of Capitol Drive, just west of Brookfield Road. For additional information about the Wilson Center and its programming, visit or call (262) 781-9470.

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